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Messages - George

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Site help and suggestions / Re: Help needed
« on: Aug 19, 2015, 19:52 »
Having seen both this thread (I do still read the forum) and David's facebook post, perhaps it's time to explain why I've stopped contributing much - and especially why I've stopped replying to pleas for help and advice on what to feed.

It's simple really. Over the time since I first joined the forum more or less at its inception, as a result of my experience feeding The Little Cav along with the further research I've done and my observations of other dogs, my opinions on the subject of feeding dogs have changed. As I've seen and learned more I have come to the conclusion that raw feeding is by far the best way to feed almost any dog, though a few may perhaps possibly benefit from a home cooked diet. I personally would never again feed any dog dry food of any kind, and I could no longer ever suggest that anyone else should consider doing so either.

I'm aware, of course, that some say they've tried feeding their dog raw food and it just didn't suit him/her. I'm afraid this makes me quite cross! People will find that one kibble doesn't suit their dog and then try another, and another, but many try one type of raw and then give up. 'Raw' is not simply one category, any more than is kibble, there are many different raw foods that can be fed and in many different combinations - if one doesn't suit your dog then I would say, try another.

In short, I've become a Born Again raw feeding fanatic, of the type that could annoy the knickers off many potential contributors to the forum. Since I have no wish to do that, and since there seems little point in replying to every query with the same recommendation - feed raw! - I've been keeping my mouth firmly shut.

General discussion / Re: Dry food minefield
« on: Jul 18, 2015, 08:15 »
... I thought that tripe is actually offal, in which case needs to be given at about 10% of the total diet?...

This is a useful guide, Dottie:

"The easiest way to tell is as follows: it the organ secretes, feed it as offal, otherwise feed it as a meat. Some people like to class different organs in their own way, but as a general rule, this will be okay."

General discussion / Re: Moulting
« on: Jun 14, 2015, 08:23 »
the belief that dogs can go through a detox period is quite prevalent but it is mostly applied to changing the dog onto raw food. I don't know if this is scientifically proven but there seems to be a lot of anecdotal evidence. I could be wrong but I would have thought that eight weeks was long enough to complete a detox.

That may be the context in which you have heard of it Dottie, but I have come across it (and seen it too) in relation to any highly significant improvement in diet - or more accurately to the cessation of a poor diet.

On one occasion a few years ago the nutritionist at Arden Grange warned me to expect it when changing a rescue dog who had been fed a very poor diet onto AG Sensitive; she also told me it could take 3 months to work through. It did.

General discussion / Re: Moulting
« on: Jun 13, 2015, 17:42 »
Hi Mandy,

Your dog is probably undergoing a detox precess, ridding his body of accumulated toxins from his previous poor diet. This can often result in increased shedding of hair & skin.  I think you'll find it settles after a few weeks, though it can take up to 3 months.

Dog foods / Re: Nutriment
« on: May 14, 2015, 08:14 »
Fingers crossed for your delivery, Tinyplanets. If you normally get your deliveries next day you shouldn't have much of a problem as the food does seem to be OK even if it takes 2 days (with the exception of the smaller Dinner for Dogs trays which defrost more quickly). My problem is that Nutriment's couriers take 2 days at best to deliver to me here, so any delay makes it 3+ days which really is too long for even the bigger trays to remain frozen.

I have repeatedly begged Nutriment to use a different delivery service to me - if Natural Instinct can get food to me in under 24 hours I don't see why they can't - but they simply refuse to try, even though I have said I don't mind paying extra, that I'd be willing to pay almost whatever it takes, they won't listen. Never mind, The Little Cav is doing great on NI.

I don't think the thread is misleading at all Dottie; it's an interesting discussion that in it's entirety contains a lot of useful information and also gives a lot to think about. Hopefully others will contribute and maybe we can all learn more.

you now soak the kibble and serve in four meals, both of those coula also be part of the reason the diet change has helped... soaking will add more water, to help dilute the acid, and the reduced portion in each meal will allow the body to process smaller amonts, and so the tummy will be less full at each meal, leaving more room and so less chance of excess acid coming back up.

Two excellent points David, and while I would have thought of the latter myself and indeed my first action would be to to feed more frequent smaller meals, the former would never have occurred to me. It does make perfect sense though. It makes me wonder whether wet or raw food is in some ways a better option than dry in these cases, since the food is then already high in moisture...

Wet/raw is usually higher protein of course, but raw in particular tends to contain very high quality protein which is more easily digested by most dogs...

Just pondering.

This seems overly simplified as an explanation. It take no account of the source or quality of protein or fat (animal v plant) or of the fact that a higher protein percent food can actually have less grammes per day of protein and fat due to reduced feeding amounts.

I'm inclined to agree, David.

This article is interesting:

The article acknowledges that low protein/fat can help, but I note particularly the comment that "many pets with GERD have underlying food sensitivities". This is what I had always assumed to be the case, since I myself suffer from reflux if I eat dairy foods but never otherwise.

The LIttle Cav had reflux, admittedly along with other problems, on many of the foods I used at first but he has none at all on a high protein raw diet. Dottie, I wonder if it is possible that your dog was cured by the new food because it was a different protein source as much as because it was lower protein... a sensitivity to eg chicken can arise at any stage in life.

Dog foods / Re: Nutriment
« on: Apr 30, 2015, 20:25 »
Natural Instinct is a little more expensive than Nutriment's working dog range (though personally I don't mind paying a bit more in exchange for reliability), but nowhere near as expensive as Nutriment Dinner for Dogs - a couple of the varieties of that are a massive £12.50 per kilo  :o

Dog foods / Re: Nutriment
« on: Apr 30, 2015, 19:31 »
Well the delivery finally arrived this afternoon, and as I feared the food was completely defrosted - in fact the bottom of the polystyrene box was running with blood that had leaked out of the containers. I stuck a soil thermometer into the middle of one tray and it was almost 6 deg C.

In fairness to Nutriment the young lady I spoke to today did not try to claim it would be OK to refreeze it (it was a male voice who assured me that it would be fine last time I spoke to them, though I don't recall his name) and she agreed to refund the cost to my credit card.

I'm not inclined to order from them again though, there seems little point in messing about and risking the waste of good food when Natural Instinct have been so much more efficient & reliable in getting deliveries to me. I've been alternating between the two for a little while, and the Little Cav does just as well on the food so I'll stick with NI for now.

Dog foods / Re: Nutriment
« on: Apr 29, 2015, 19:57 »
I'm not very happy with Nutriment at the moment, I wonder if anyone else has had any problems?

The food is no different as far as I can tell, but customer service seems to have deteriorated drastically. I twice recently emailed them with queries to which I have received no reply whatsoever, and when I telephoned with a concern that the smaller tubs used for the Dinner for Dogs range were significantly defrosted after the 48 hour delivery to me here in IoM, my concern was dismissed and I was told that even if it was completely defrosted it would be fine - they said I should just put it straight in the freezer and it wouldn't be a problem. I pointed out that their own website says that defrosted food should be refrigerated, rather than frozen, and used quickly, but they said no, it was quite safe.

Now my latest order, which should have arrived today, has still not turned up so it will have been in transit for at least 3 days before it arrives and I fear I'll be told that £126 worth of completely defrosted food is 'no problem'.

I'll report back, but whatever happens I suspect I'll be ordering from Natural Instinct more and from Nutriment less - if at all - in future. The new NI Country Banquet foods are great, and NI always manage to get deliveries even to IoM in under 24 hours, so I don't see why Nutriment need 2 to 3 days.

General discussion / Re: Your Dog’s Digestive System
« on: Apr 29, 2015, 08:20 »
I couldn't access it yesterday, I could an hour ago, and now I can't again! Hit and miss, it seems.

It seems to me that it must be quite difficult to produce a low protein grain-free food. If a food is 0% grain then it must have a higher %age of other ingredients, by definition, so what do you replace the grain with? If you increase the %age of meat/fish then you increase the protein and if you increase the %age of vegetable ingredients then you increase the fibre content, perhaps resulting in a food that would be difficult for many dogs to digest.

The only answers I can think of are to replace the grain with a 'filler' of some sort - but what fillers are there that are not high fibre? - or to simply increase the moisture content of the food, which of course is impossible to do to any meaningful extent with a dry food. And who would buy a food with 20% added water? You could add that yourself!

I switched my Cavalier to Nutriment at about the same age as your Chihuahua - the best decision I ever made for him - and he too was underweight when we made the change.

I personally never take much (if any) notice of feeding guidelines because, as Nutriment have told you,  every dog is different and some dogs do need considerably more, or less, than guidelines would suggest.

I found that I needed to feed my little boy 3.5% of his ideal bodyweight in order for him to gain weight and achieve that ideal, and 3% thereafter to maintain it , and it would not have surprised me a great deal had he needed even more. If your little boy is gaining satisfactorily and is producing good, solid poos, then I honestly think you have nothing at all to worry about, just carry on as you are. I would only caution that you keep a very close eye on his condition and  start to reduce his rations as he approaches his ideal weight - it is all to easy to let them put on a little too much and it is always harder to lose excess weight than it is to gain it.

I was just wondering if anyone knows how reliable these test results are?

See this post by David:

I'm afraid to my mind, with results being "at best 25% accurate" - ie more likely to be wrong than correct - allergy tests are just yet another way for vets to con money out of us.

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